Stay Focused, Stay Free Tip No. 16

You Never Know Who You’ll Inspire

When I was named “Peer Mentor” in August, I established a curriculum in hopes to encourage 70+ men to live a better life. One of my rituals is I write a weekly quote on my dorm’s blackboard. On a Friday afternoon after I wrote a quote. Tomas, who is Muslim, approached me with tears forming in his eyes. “…In all my years – and I’m 43 years old – I never been inspired by anyone’s words until now, and I just want to say, ‘thank you, bruh!’…” were the words I remember Tomas said.

My heart sunk into my chest, and I released a warm smile. “You’re welcome, bro! Anytime you want to build, this is why I’m here,” was my response as we shook hands.

The very next day while standing in the restroom area, looking in the mirror, Tomas walked in. “What’s up, bruh?” he said. “Staying focused, staying free,” I said confidently. Tomas then went on to explain to me how much my words meant to him, and shared how dark his life was before he submitted to Allah. “I really feel like Allah sent you to me. I thank Allah,” he said.

Not only was Tomas gratefully inspired by my quote, but my words made him appreciate his Islamic beliefs.

As a passionate writer, I understand the powerful, psychological impact of words – it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. The part of music we subconsciously love the most is its wordplay – every song articulates what a person can’t express on his or her own words. For example, you may feel the same as Tim McGraw so you listen to his music because he knows how to make sense of your thoughts, helping you grow and understand wisdom. This is what happened to Tomas. He was progressing in his new way of life, yet he was lost for words, and that’s when he found my words.

“Never be selfish and always share your knowledge; you never know who you’ll inspire.”